The Women’s Alpine Skiing World Cup continued last weekend in Aspen with the giant slalom and two slalom races.
Giant Slalom on Friday
Switzerland’s Lara Gut won the giant slalom. She was third after the first run, 0.96 seconds behind the leader Mikaela Shiffrin and 0.85 seconds behind the second-placed Federica Brignone.
Gut set the second-quickest time of the second run, which was enough to beat last year’s winner Eva-Maria Brem. Brem was 0.41 seconds behind Gut after the first run but she set the quickest second run and lost to Gut by only 0.10 seconds.
First run’s second-quickest, Brignone, had only the 12th-fastest second run and went to third place, 0.34 seconds behind Gut.
The race got a dramatic finish when first round’s quickest, Mikaela Shiffrin, was finishing the second round. She was in a comfortable lead of 0.68 seconds in the last split time, however, after the third-to-last gate she crashed and an almost sure win and 100 points turned into nothing.
Lindsey Vonn made her return to competition after the ankle injury she suffered during summer training. She was seventh in the second split time in the first run but right after that she lost her left ski and crashed.
Federica Brignone retained the giant slalom World Cup lead after the Aspen race, leading Gut by 10 points.
Slalom on Saturday
USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin dominated the first slalom of the season on Saturday. Her lead to second-placed Veronika Velez-Zuzulová was 1.38 seconds after the first run. She extended the winning margin to 3.07 seconds on the second run; the largest in women’s World Cup slaloms ever. That was Shiffrin’s first win—or even podium—in Aspen.
The top four remained intact after the first run. Velez-Zuzulová finished second, ahead of Frida Hansdotter in third place (3.26 seconds from Shiffrin), and Šárka Strachová in fourth place (3.88 from Shiffrin).
Slalom on Sunday
Mikaela Shiffrin dominated Sunday’s slalom race as well, leading after the first run by 1.69 seconds and eventually winning by 2.65 seconds.
Frida Hansdotter made her second podium of the weekend, finishing in second place. Hansdotter was third after the first run, 0.30 seconds behind Šárka Strachová. However, her second run was good enough to beat Strachová by 0.25 seconds, and Strachová finished third.
Saturday’s second-placed, Veronika Velez-Zuzulová, did not finish the first run. However, another Slovakian had a very promising weekend. The 2014 Junior World Champion Petra Vlhová finished the races 11th on Saturday and seventh on Sunday. In both races, she had one good run; she was third-quickest on Saturday's second run and fourth-quickest on Sunday's first run.
Shiffrin leads the slalom World Cup by 60 points to Hansdotter and by 90 points to Strachová. Despite scoring no points on Sunday, Velez-Zuzulová is fourth in the slalom points standings, 120 points from Shiffrin.
Women’s World Cup will continue in Lake Louise with two downhill and one super-G races on December 4-6.